The Senate committee on accountability of public officers and investigations (Blue Ribbon) is set to investigate the allegations against actor Cesar Montano, the Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).
Sen. Nancy Binay, in a resolution filed Tuesday, cited the letter sent by the employees of the TPB to the Presidential Action Center citing incompetence on the part of Montano in performing his duties.
The resolution also stated portions of the letter that described Montano’s difficulty in understanding presentations, flow charts and figures during board meetings and his practice of leaving meetings before these are finished.
The employees also cited questionable contracts entered into by Montano particularly the P1.2 million concert on January 18, 2017 where he performed as guest singer along with his nieces.
They also claimed that Montano hired his own staff including stuntman, gardener, personal assistant, family friend, and relatives and their salaries range from P14,000 to P48,000.
Employees also raised their concerns on the alleged misused of funds of the Department of Tourism (DOT) by relatives of Montano by demanding reimbursements of expenses incurred while vacationing during supposed official business trips,
“Congress is accountable on reviewing the laws on graft and corruption and should ensure that malfeasance, misfeasance and charges of graft and corruption in the government are immediately addressed,” Binay said.
The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) welcomed the investigation of Montano.
On Tuesday, the TPB management committee released an official statement about the issue.
“We acknowledge the complaint submitted by concerned TPB employees to the Presidential Action Center on 01 March 2017 containing a 30-point allegation against our COO Cesar D. Montano,” it said.
“Given the gravity of these charges, and the irregularities alleged by COO Montano, the TPB management committee welcomes the immediate investigation of the matter and commits its full cooperation, guaranteeing transparency of the agency in the entire process.”
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte defended Montano, saying the actor is rich and would not tarnish his reputation for a few million pesos.
Addressing the anonymous complainants, the President said, “File a case, but I trust the guy that’s why I appointed him. It’s a matter of destroying yourself with a measly amount. I don’t think he will go for that.”
The TPB said the controversy will not deter officials from promoting the Philippines domestically and internationally.
“We stand firm with the administration in promoting good governance and accountability to the Filipino people. We encourage the public to focus on the concerns raised in the report, without need to associate the issues with the current Administration. Rest assured that the agency will work on the resolution of this matter with truth and integrity,” the statement said.
Montano was accused of entering into questionable contracts on the holding of concerts and events. He denied the allegations. Jeff Antiporda and Arlo Custodio